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Published On: July 4th, 2007

(Mankato, MN) – MoonDogs starter Brendan Lafferty (1-1) went seven innings, giving up just one run on six hits and striking out eight to get his first win of the season for the MoonDogs (16-17) as they went on to defeat the Brainerd Blue Thunder (11-22) 5-2 on Wednesday night in Mankato. Lafferty was aided by another balanced attack that saw five different MoonDogs record RBI.

The balanced MoonDog attack was led by second baseman Jason Christian, who was 2-for-2 with a triple and two runs scored. Center fielder CJ Belanger and third baseman Nate Hanson had identical statlines. Each went 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Designated hitter Mike Melillo also scored once and drove in a run, and outfielder Jovan Rodriguez stole two bases and drove a run in.

After Lafferty’s performance, reliever Josh Castanza entered the game to start the eighth inning. Castanza went two-thirds of an inning and gave up a run before Adam Abraham finished off the inning by forcing the last out. Closer Chad Dawson came in to record his sixth save of the season for the MoonDogs, pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

The Blue Thunder managed to record nine hits but could only plate two runs. Three Blue Thunder sluggers combined for seven of the nine hits on the evening. Second baseman Adam Symons, right fielder Clay Cuno, and left fielder Patrick Rose each had multiple hit games, but only Cuno managed to score. Third baseman Xavier Scruggs provided the night’s only fireworks when he hit a home run to left center and finished the evening with one run and one RBI. First baseman Tyler Metcalf also drove in a run.

Brainerd used five different pitchers to get through the evening. Starter Bryan Evans only managed to get through two innings, giving up four runs, three earned, on three hits. Brandon Roberts came in to relieve Evans and gave up one run on one hit in two innings pitched. Four relievers managed to no hit the MoonDogs over the last four innings of the game.

The MoonDogs will finish up the series as well as the first half against the Blue Thunder tomorrow night at Franklin Rogers Park in Mankato. The game starts at 7:05 pm.